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Richard Gere didn't go 'undercover' as a homeless person, but what he really did was just as influen
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Actor Richard Gere portrayed a homeless man in a movie, and a fan posted an experience Gere had while filming the movie. The problem is it wasn't true, but here's what Gere's doing to make the situation positive. - photo by Payton Davis
The story of a celebrity going "undercover" to see life the way the homeless see it could constitute the plot of a blockbuster movie itself.

In actor Richard Gere's case, though, it didn't actually happen.

But Gere's trying to make the most of dialogue that the Facebook post by a "well-intentioned" fan started in regards to poverty, Arienne Thompson wrote for USA Today.

The post, which was published on the "Unofficial: Richard Gere" fan page, chronicled the experiences Gere had dressing as a homeless man in New York City, Robbie Couch wrote for Upworthy. The emotional account collected more than 1.5 million likes and detailed hardships the actor faced such as only one woman helping him out.

But Upworthy noted a slight problem: Gere's quest to see how the other half live proved fictitious.

"The photo taken of him dressed as a homeless person was real, though," Upworthy's report read. "The actor had been in character for his new movie, 'Time Out of Mind,' released in September 2015."

Scott Stump wrote for Today that Gere took to "Time Out of Mind" co-star Jena Malone's Facebook page to debunk the original post.

Gere also used the opportunity to discuss poverty.

At the post's end, Gere invited Facebook users to talk about homelessness with him Wednesday on Malone's page.

Many took him up on it.

"My daughter and I were homeless for a couple of years," one parent posted. "We were lucky and got to stay with family and then move into transitional housing before finding permanent housing. It was extremely stressful and I found out how difficult it can be to get back on your feet."

Some even called Gere's decision to use the viral picture to discuss a crucial issue "his best role yet."

"It doesn't matter whether or not all the stories are true. You have brought attention to an overwhelming sadness within our society thank you for this," another user wrote.